CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 45
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 216 14 53
80: 1092 24 92
40: 565 25 91
20: 1534 37 112
15: 1422 34 123
10: 292 15 62
Total: 5121 149 533 Total Score = 6,663,822
Rig : 2 x FT1000MP + Alpha 87A + Ten Tec Titan
160 - Inv-V Dipole @ 28m
80 - 4 square + Dipole @ 23m
40 - 402CD @ 30m
20 - 204CD @ 30m + TH5 @ 32m
15 - Extended 155BA @ 30m + TH5 @ 32m
10 - 105CA @ 33m + TH5 @ 32m
It became clear a month or so ago that we weren't going to be anywhere far
enough forward to do a proper effort at multi-multi from the new M6T site so I
got the opportunity to do a single op entry. There was quite a lot of work to
be done. The only antennas up were the 80m 4 square and a TH5. Thanks to Dave,
G4BUO for coming up the previous Sunday and helping me get the stuff done where
it helps to have two pairs of hands. I was then able to spend Thursday and
Friday finishing off the antenna build, winding up the towers, swearing at
halliards (what sort of rope do you need so they don't twist!) and wire
antennas and building the station.
This was my first real serious SOAB contest effort since the birth of our
daughter almost two years go - don't seem to have had the time somehow! I was
worried about how my general state of sleep deprivation would effect my ability
to do a long stretch, but a decent station and SO2R generally keeps things
interesting enough and I managed 45 hours operating. I was sure that I set the
alarm for 1 hour 15 mins sleep, but I obviously got it wrong with automatic
time updates on my Windows phone and took 2 hours 15 mins... Probably a good
I've done this contest a number of times since 2001 operating from G4MRS at
work. I've always complained about the noise level and it was fabulous to be
able to operate from a quiet site this year and with some monobanders.
It's a bit difficult to tell because effectively the station was new to me, but
I thought that conditions were a bit better than we could have hoped for given
the position of the cycle and the auroral activity. Sure - northerly paths were
awful - I can't remember not having worked a JA on 15m in this contest before,
missing zone 3 on 40 and 80 was bad, and openings to the West Coast of the US
were very poor - but I can't reconcile my score with lousy conditions. There
were some decent openings on 20/15 and I thought 80 was OK, but not
No major hardware failures. I had one rotator control box which decided to stop
allowing me to move the antenna clockwise, and a most bizarre fault on one of
the FT1000MPs where I think it got software defined radio jealousy syndrome - I
was in the middle of one of the best runs of the contest on 15 and went to
transmit and there was no drive. CW worked, but Tx audio on SSB had just
disappeared. I blamed my dodgey microphone connections for a minute or so, but
radio 2 was fine and swapping mic connectors left the problem with the radio.
Turning the radio on and off didn't help, but a master reset cured it...... I
had visions of a frantic 15 minues with the covers off another radio swapping
filters coming on!
I tried to start the contest on 40m, but just couldn't make it run and scurried
back to 80m for the night where the 4 square was very effective. In fact in
general - I just couldn't make 40m work well this weekend at all - from the
comments I've seen I was not alone.
As usual the contest is something of a blur. No spectacular hours but decent
rate throughout. Tried to work the 2nd radio hard, but probably didn't do as
much as I should have done (as usual!). As usual there are a bunch of holes in
my multiplier sheet - some of which are just stupidity (e.g. GW on 15).
Saturday I didn't think 15m was in very good shape and ran most of the US
opening on 20m. On Sunday 15m sounded even worse in the morning, but I stuck
the run radio on 15 at 0902 as soon as a pass of DU9RG from 20 came off with
decent signals and didn't move from there until it closed quite early at 1630
(and I should probably have moved earlier tha this but was a bit of a zombie at
that point). What I didn't realise was that 20 was also pretty poor at that
stage, but would come back to life somewhat about 1800. Some US stations were
workable on 10 from here on the Sunday, but the rate was better on 15 so I
stayed there after a quick try on 10.
Ran a few JAs on 40m again - which is always amazing and was called by AH2R
there (which was even more of a surprise).
Thanks to everyone for the QSOs and moves, and particular thanks to Bob, G4BAH
for use of the station again.
Any comments about my signal strength relative to others in this area would be
useful to help evaluate what's working.
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